Star Wars tears apart US box office record
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has smashed the record for the biggest box office debut weekend in North America with ticket sales of $238m (£159.7m).
The previous record, $208.8m (£140m), was set by Jurassic World in June.
The new Star Wars film has taken an estimated $517m (£347m) globally in three days – putting it just behind Jurassic World’s $525m (£352m) tally.
Star Wars has also had the biggest opening day and Saturday receipts in UK and Ireland box office history.
With its Sunday takings projected to be £7.5m, it is expected to achieve the largest four-day weekend total in British and Irish cinemas.
JJ Abrams’ film grossed £9.6m on Thursday, including £2.4m from midnight screenings.
That exceeded the previous best of £9.48m set by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in 2011.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens went on to make £8.6m on Saturday in the UK and Ireland.
These figures meant it had already overtaken the lifetime totals of several big films, including the first Hunger Games release and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.